Predslava is mentioned in the Tale of Bygone Years, the Chronicle of Titmar of Merseburg, the Life of the Monk Moses Ugrin, the Chronicle of Gallus Anonymus and others. N. M. Karamzin, V. N. Tatishchev, B. D. Grekov, A. V. Nazarenko and other historians dealt with certain aspects of the biography of Predslava. Such an interest in the person of the princess testifies to the extraordinary nature of her personality.
Birth and early years
Not a single image of the princess has been preserved, but the annals mention that Predslava was a girl of extraordinary attractiveness and had an excellent education for those times. She spoke and wrote Greek and Latin, Zeliński specifies, was very musical, which made her a worthy bride “for the most powerful European royal houses.”
Predslava lived and grew up with her mother, and then with her sisters in the village of Predslavino, which was named after her. Nestor the Chronicler indicates that the village was located on the banks of the Lybed River.
Participation in internecine war
According to the official and most common version, in 1015 Svyatopolk killed the brothers Boris and Gleb, who threatened his position in Kyiv. According to historian N. M. Karamzin, she was told about the death of Boris by his close combatant Moses Ugrin, who survived after the massacre and was hiding at house of Predslava.
It was after this that Predslava sends Yaroslav a letter in which he accuses Svyatopolk of the murder of Boris and the upcoming murder of Gleb. The text of this letter is given by PVL:
“On the same night, a message came to him from Kyiv from his sister Peredslava: “Your father died, and Svyatopolk captured Kyiv, killed Boris and sent (assassins) to Gleb, and you should very wary of him”»
Boleslav I the Brave and Predslava
In any case, according to Thietmar of Merseburg, Predslava refused to marry Bolesław because he had become “fat and prone to adultery”.
Болеслав захватывает Киев и Предславу
Insult by the refusal of Predslava is called among other reasons for the campaign of Boleslav I against Kyiv in 1018. Officially, he went to help Svyatopolk, who was married to his daughter, to return the throne illegally taken from him. An equally important reason can be considered the Cherven cities that came under the control of Poland as a result of this campaign.
As a result of the battle on the western Bug, the troops of Yaroslav the Wise were defeated, and the prince had to fled to Novgorod. On August 14, 1018, Boleslav and Svyatopolk entered Kyiv.
“As in this hour my sword strikes the golden gates of the city, so next night the sister of the most cowardly of kings who refused to marry her to me will be dishonored; but she will unite with Boleslav not by legal marriage, but only once like a concubine, and this will avenge the insult inflicted on our people, and for the Russians it will be a shame and dishonor.”
So he said and backed up his words with deeds.
The violence was committed in a “demonstrative way”. The princess was taken to the hall, where the winners celebrated their success, and then to the next room, where Boleslav immediately followed. When he returned, he was greeted with applause. Soon Predslava was also forced to pass through the hall. The Russian chronicler Nestor claims that everything was done publicly. After that the Polish prince kept the princess in one of the rooms of the palace in which he lived, and “visited Predslava as soon as the desire arose”.
The further fate of Predslava
The circumstances of Boleslav’s return from Kyiv to Poland are described differently in different sources: The Tale of Bygone Years speaks of the expulsion of the Poles as a result of the Kiev uprising, but the Chronicle of Titmar of Merseburg, on the contrary, speaks about the successful return of Boleslav from the campaign. Gallus Anonymus echoes Titmar of Merseburg:
“[Boleslav] put in his place in Kyiv a Russian who became related to him, and he himself began to gather with the remaining treasures to Poland.”
With him, Boleslav took the Kyiv treasury and many prisoners, as well as among other relatives of Yaroslav the Wise – Predslava Vladimirovna, his beloved sister. In Poland, Bolesław settled them “in the safest place of his principality, which was Lednický Ostrov”, writes Zeliński, and then “didn’t agree to the exchange of the princess for his own daughter, Svyatopolk’s wife, who remained in the hands of Yaroslav the Wise. The captives were not converted to Catholicism – a small Orthodox church was specially built on the island.
There is no information about what happened to Predslava after the death of Boleslav the Brave. Zeliński writes that she gave birth to two daughters on Ostrov Lednický and that Bolesław “in the declining years of his life he simply lost his head … forgot about his wife, also young and left in Gniezno, and even about his little daughter Matilda”. He spent time with Predslava, lost interest in affairs in Russia, stopped dealing with the fate of his daughter, who was married to Svyatopolk.
In addition, Zelinsky suggests that one of the daughters of Predslava subsequently married a great nobleman, who was Meclav from the Doliva clan. In some sources, he is called Maslav, Meslav, Moislav. He was an important person at the court of King Mieszko II, the ruler of Mazovia. Apparently, Predslava also had a son from Boleslav, which is hinted at by the grave of a boy found on the island, dating back to the eleventh century. It contains the remains of a child with rich decorations.
The death of Predslava and the memory of her
No one knows where and when Predslava died, where she was buried, whether she returned to Kyiv or remained forever in Poland.
In the princely families of the XI-XII centuries remembered and revered Predslava. Her purely Slavic name was given to several princesses at once, although there was already a stable custom of giving Christian names to children. The Grand Duke of Kyiv Svyatopolk Izyaslavich named his daughter Predslava. Growing up, she became the wife of the Hungarian prince Lodislav. The daughters of the Grand Dukes Svyatoslav Yaroslavich and Rurik Rostislavich had the same name. The first was tonsured and ended her life in a monastery. The second got married, but often visited her parents and participated in family holidays, so her name was recorded on the pages of chronicles.
The difficult fate of Predslava Vladimirovna shows that women in her time were active participants in political battles and civil strife, but at the same time they often became their victims.history.wikireading.ru